Sodium is more reactive than lithium. Why?

1 Answer
Feb 17, 2017

The lithium atom is smaller...........


The lithium atom is smaller than the sodium atom, and on this basis we would expect lithium to be LESS reducing.

#M rarr M^(+) + e^-#

How can we assess this? Well, in water, sodium metal would give a few spits and sparks. The reactivity of lithium towards water would be less dramatic:

#Li(s) + H_2O(l) rarr Li^(+) + HO^(-) + 1/2H_2(g)uarr#